Archive for February, 2011

NFL scouting combine will feature 31 players from Georgia

 East Carolina's Dwayne Harris, of Tucker High and Stone Mountain, is headed to the combine where he can improve his NFL draft status. (Rhett Butler/Associated Press)

East Carolina's Dwayne Harris, of Tucker High and Stone Mountain, is headed to the combine where he can improve his NFL draft status. (Rhett Butler/Associated Press)

BOUND FOR INDY – Now I can finally pack in peace for the NFL scouting combine.

(NOTE TO SELF: Warm-up suits, one dress suit,  two bow-ties, sneakers, shoes, belt, socks and personal garments. DON’T FORGET THE COAT!!! (Remember the 2008 combine and ESPN’s John Clayton giving you directions to the Burlington Coat factory.)

BACK TO THE BLOG: I finished my review of the 330-plus bios late the other night around 2:30 a.m. I discovered some gems to share with you all. My man Rick Gosselin from the Dallas Morning News is super thorough. He’ll have this three-ring binder with background police reports and, I think, juvenile records on prospects.

He’ll ask, “What happened when you were 14 during that situation at the Wal-Mart?”

My goal is to arrive in Indy with a handle on the guys the Falcons maybe interviewing …

Continue reading NFL scouting combine will feature 31 players from Georgia »

Stadium deal could have Falcons back outside by 2017

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

The Falcons cleared a major hurdle today in their quest for a new outdoor stadium.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the team have entered into one of those “memorandum of understanding” about the project.

Here is the stadium that Falcons provided to the AJC about the matter.
“The Georgia World Congress Center Authority commissioned and has received the results of the study performed by Populous regarding the potential for a new stadium on the Authority’s campus.

“The Authority has shared the report with us as part of our joint exploration of development options. The report addresses a number of topics that will be considered by the Authority and the Falcons as planning discussions move forward.

“We appreciate the Authority’s diligence in working through this process in a thorough and thoughtful manner. We continue …

Continue reading Stadium deal could have Falcons back outside by 2017 »

Video: Falcons’ offseason priorities

Continue reading Video: Falcons’ offseason priorities »

Corey Peters to attend Black History month celebration

tlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) during game action in the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010.     Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

tlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) during game action in the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Defensive tackle Corey Peters will be attending the Black History Month Celebration at B.E.S.T. (Business, Engineering Science and Technology) Academy at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Atlanta.

The celebration will include poetry readings and musical performances by the sixth through eighth grade students.

Peters will be giving a brief introduction to the program and signing autographs following the event.

B.E.S.T. Academy parents and their students will be in attendance.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

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Falcons Cheerleader auditions set for March 20th

The Cheerleaders would probably do their "Good job, Good job" cheer for Harrison.  (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

If you want to be on the Cheer squad next season, auditions are March 20. There are some prep classes you can take to learn the moves, too. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

The Falcons will be holding auditions for the 2011 Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders squad on  Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Several audition prep classes will take place leading up to the auditions March 20. For more information click here.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

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The Mockiavelli 1.0: A.J Green goes No. 1 overall

If the Liberty Bowl is A.J. Green's last game at UGA, will he be remembered as the best receiver in school history? Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

A.J. Green , of Summerville, S.C., won't have to travel far as the Carolina Panthers will select him No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL draft. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Here it is, the first Mock Draft of draft season.

Most of the teams have their draft boards set going into the combine, which starts on Thursday.

They are on targeted missions for more information on players and will adjust their boards accordingly after the combine.

The Falcons are all set, too.

“We just finished our February cross-check meetings and we have, through that process, really refined our position

stacks across our draft board,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are starting to narrow down on potential draft picks going into the combine. We feel like we are right on track where we planned on being at this point.”

Miami linebacker Marcus Robinson (56) and defensive lineman Allen Bailey (57) bring down Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon in the second half. (By J. Pat Carter -- Associated Press)

Miami linebacker Marcus Robinson (56) and defensive lineman Allen Bailey (57) bring down Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon in the …

Continue reading The Mockiavelli 1.0: A.J Green goes No. 1 overall »

Falcons extend DT Trey Lewis, sign TE Robbie Agnone

Falcons defensive tackle Trey Lewis signed a contract extension with the team on Thursday. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons defensive tackle Trey Lewis signed a contract extension with the team on Thursday. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons defensive tackle Trey Lewis was signed to a contract extension and tight end Robbie Agnone was also signed on Thursday.

Last season, Lewis played in the season opener against Pittsburgh and had two tackles. He was inactive for the remaining 15 regular season games.

Lewis was drafted by the Falcons in the sixth round (185th overall) of the 2007 draft.

Agnone was on the practice squad last season before being placed on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury.

He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins following the 2009 NFL Draft and spent the 2009 season on the New England Patriots practice squad.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

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Mike Mayock rates Blaine Gabbert as the top quarterback

Mike Mayock has Missouri's Blaine Gabbert as the top rated quarterbackentering the NFL scouting combine. Gabbert throws a pass during his team’s Setp. 19, 2009, game against Furman in Columbia, Mo. (The Associated Press/L.G. Patterson)

Mike Mayock has Missouri's Blaine Gabbert as the top rated quarterbackentering the NFL scouting combine. Gabbert throws a pass during his team’s Setp. 19, 2009, game against Furman in Columbia, Mo. (The Associated Press/L.G. Patterson)

NFL Network draft analyst  Mike Mayock is getting revved up for their coverage of the NFL scouting combine.

“The bottom line is that there are 330 kids invited to the combine, plus or minus, 250 of them will get drafted,” Mayock said. “The challenge at the combine is to make sure that we satisfy everybody’s taste for all of the big name guys without disrespecting the guys that are not big name guys. I think we do the best we can there.”

Mayock is predicting that the first round will be heavy on defense

“It’s the best defensive end class that I’ve seen and I think the four quarterbacks at the top of my list have to be figured out,” Mayock said. “That’s the key to this draft. That’s the key as far as the marquee names. How do you figure these …

Continue reading Mike Mayock rates Blaine Gabbert as the top quarterback »

DVR alert: NFL Network’s combine coverage schedule

The NFL Network's Mike Mayock

The NFL Network's Mike Mayock

Here’s an early DVR alert.

The NFL Network has released its coverage schedule for the NFL scouting combine, which starts next Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Last year, it was the Tim Tebow show?

This year, everyone will be watching Cam Newton’s footwork and most of the NFL teams in the top 12 will be eager to interview the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from Westlake High. They will want to know what he knew about his father’s alleged school shopping spree. There are other concerns about his conduct at Florida and alleged penchant for taking home the wrong laptop.

The Network is billing parts of it’s coverage as the “Path to Primetime”  and will show more than 30 hours of live combine programming.

NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock heads up the coverage. NFL Network and NFL.com will use 23 different analysts, correspondents and writers.

They will rely on their deep stable of ex-jocks and coaches.

Following is the NFL Network and …

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Where’s league push for Arthur Blank Field @ Bon Jovi Park?

101024 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner breaks a tackle as he slips away from Bengals cornerback Leon Hall for some of his 121 yards during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010.    Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

101024 Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner breaks a tackle as he slips away from Bengals cornerback Leon Hall for some of his 121 yards during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his recent op-ed piece restated the league’s need to have some new stadiums built.

In the piece, which you can read on NFLLabor.com, he notes that the current collective bargaining agreement expires March 4. Goodell says he “cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then.”

This is actually good news for citizens across America, who have funded a lot of these new stadiums through various taxes. Instead of coming to the taxpayers, the league is  trying get the capital off of the players.
Goodell says owners need more money to offset “costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums.” He adds: “We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, …

Continue reading Where’s league push for Arthur Blank Field @ Bon Jovi Park? »